US stocks were looking to kick off the week on a high note Monday morning in New York amid hopes that the economy is on the mend. While Monday's economic calendar features some important housing data, most market players will be looking ahead to the release of the government's stress test on banks, set for release later this week.
As of 6 am ET, the S&P Futures were up 8 points, the NASDAQ Futures were up 10 points, and the Dow Futures were up 59 points.
Stocks showed a lack of direction throughout the trading day on Friday, with the major averages bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending the day modestly higher.
The Dow closed up 44.29 points or 0.5 percent at 8,212.41, the Nasdaq closed up 1.90 points or 0.1 percent at 1,719.20 and the S&P 500 closed up 4.71 points or 0.5 percent at 877.52.
While earnings season is winding down, several big-name companies are still due to report their quarterly results this week, including Sprint Nextel (S), Tyson (TSN), Disney (DIS), Tenet Healthcare (THC), and AIG (AIG).
Meat products producer Tyson Foods is set to mete out financial results for second quarter before market opens on May 4, with analysts expecting a loss of $0.06 per share on revenues of $6.64 billion.
Sprint results are also on tap this morning. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the telecom to have lost 5 cents per share after gaining 4 cents per share a year ago.
Sunday, Fiat SpA (FIATY.PK), in a move that could create a mega-European car maker, stated that it is considering a purchase of General Motors Corp.'s European unit, reports said.
Citigroup Inc. (C) and Bank Of America Corp. (BAC) are working on plans to raise more than $10 billion each in fresh capital to meet the requirements of the U.S. government's stress tests on banks, the Financial Times reported Sunday.
Citing people close to the situation, the report said these two banks and at least two other lenders are trying to convince the U.S. government that the findings of the stress tests were too pessimistic and that they do not need to bolster their balance sheets.
The Commerce Department's construction spending report to be released at 10 AM ET on Monday is expected to show a 1.4% decline in spending for March.
Data on Pending Home Sales, which is a leading indicator of housing market activity released by the National Association of Realtors, is due out at 10 AM ET on the same day. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale. The index is likely to remain unchanged in the month.
Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Tom Hoenig is scheduled to present a luncheon address on the financial crisis in New York at 12:30 PM ET on Monday. Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker is due to deliver a speech on the economic outlook to business and banking executives in Charlottesville, Virginia at 2 PM.
Asian stocks surged on Monday, but Tokyo was closed for public holiday. European shares were also higher, with London taking the day off.
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